Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

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Steve-M
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Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Steve-M » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:01 pm

Suppose for a moment Scharnhorst had been completed with 3x2 of the vaunted 38cm/52 guns. Let's also suppose armor was distributed a little more like Bismarck, shaving a bit of thickness off the main belt to thicken the upper belt, and figure out a way to get rid of that boiler hump (even if it means sacrificing a half knot of speed).

What's the toughest warship you'd give this creation even odds of taking on? KGV? Nagato? Nor Cal?

Side note: seems like it'd be a great ship for Freedonia as well :lol:

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:48 pm

Scharnhorst had 320 mm belt.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Steve-M » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:11 pm

Thorsten Wahl wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:48 pm
Scharnhorst had 320 mm belt.
I've got a couple sources that indicate 350mm, including this site very:
http://www.kbismarck.com/scharnhorst.html
Wikipedia (not that I trust them greatly)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scharnhor ... battleship
etc...

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Steve-M » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:03 pm

Interesting. Even Gerhard Koop gets it wrong in Battleships of the Scharnhorst Class: Warships of the Kriegsmarine if that's the case. One wonders where the 350mm number comes from if not original docs (alternate version?).

In any case, doesn't really matter much for the purposes of my hypothetical. What I'm after is a general feel of how much armor can offset reduced firepower, i.e. how grave a threat would a slightly smaller version of Bismarck mounting only six guns but retaining that ships armor be? I wouldn't want to put up Hood or the old QEs against such a ship, but I'm not sure facing a warship armed with 8 or 9 - 16" guns is a winning proposition, regardless of how resistant the lower citadel is to damage. Thoughts?

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:27 am

One wonders where the 350mm number comes from if not original docs (alternate version?).
From Erich Gröner "Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945". During WW2 he was responsible for type recognition foreign marines.

In a early stadium of construction 350 mm was primarily choosen. But weight restrictions and ballistic tests additionally shows that 320 mm + 105 mm slope offers sufficient protection against ordnance attacking the side protection.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Dave Saxton » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:20 pm

The belt thickness was further reduced in the H class to 300mm but with a deeper belt and increased thickness of the slopes. It increased the overall protection because the slope thickness is more important than belt thickness in this type of protection scheme. This was an improvement of the design concept and should have been done on the Scharnhorst and Bismarck class ships as well.

One way to improve the upper belt, which was a flaw in the Scharnhorst class, would be to reduce the weight of the middle artillery and light artillery by using a dual purpose battery. Another possible solution could be to increase the upper belt thickness just enough to insure de-capping. It would need to be at least 70mm. The use of WHnA heat treated to higher hardness instead of KCnA could be used this way.

Another option is to use the 35cm gun in place of the 28cm gun instead of only 6x 38cm. If two triple 35cm turrets forward is too much weight, then It could go with two twin turrets forward and a triple aft, or make the super firing B turret a twin with the other two triples.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Steve-M » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:51 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:20 pm
Another possible solution could be to increase the upper belt thickness just enough to insure de-capping. It would need to be at least 70mm. The use of WHnA heat treated to higher hardness instead of KCnA could be used this way.
That's largely what I had in mind. I figured that shaving off 30mm off the assumed 350mm main belt wouldn't badly compromise protection there, but having an upper belt that can at least decap and further slow an incoming projectile would be advantageous.

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:32 pm

its my opinion that decapping was a new feature to the Kriegsmarine in 1935/36 but well established in about 1938/39.

I could find a armor schemes for H-Class and also for P class cruisers using a decapping plate + main FH armor plate for vertical protection.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Re: Scharnhorst w/ 38cm's and other improvements

Post by Steve-M » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:28 pm

Thorsten Wahl wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:32 pm
its my opinion that decapping was a new feature to the Kriegsmarine in 1935/36 but well established in about 1938/39.
I don't know that they needed to understand it as a decapping plate per se. Even discounting the decapping effect, a heavier upper belt would still provide clear advantages for the space arrayed system the KM employed, and improve resistance against smaller caliber shells.

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